No birthday celebrations due to coronavirus: Goa ex-CM

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Panaji: Leader of the Opposition in Goa Assembly, Digambar Kamat, on Thursday said that he would not celebrate his birthday on March 8 in view of the coronavirus scare as well as the threat posed by Karnataka’s alleged attempt to divert Mhadei river water.

“It is definitely not the time for celebrations. I have decided not to celebrate my birthday this year. There is the threat of coronavirus and everyone needs to take extreme precautions to control its spread,” the 65-year-old former Goa Chief Minister said.

“There is also a grave threat of the whole of Goa becoming a desert as neighboring Karnataka is all set to divert water from our lifeline Mhadei. It is time to gear up to save our mother Mhadei,” he said.

Kamat urged the people in Goa to take precautions in view of coronavirus scare and also get ready to participate in agitation to save Mhadei.

In August 2018, an inter-state water disputes tribunal, after hearing over two-decade-old Mhadei river water sharing dispute between Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, had allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka and 1.33 TMC to Maharashtra.

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have challenged several provisions of the award.

Goa has claimed that construction of the Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project, across the river, to divert water from the Mhadei basin to the basin of the Malaprabha river in Karnataka, would cause “ecological devastation” in Goa.

March 5 (IANS)

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